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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 March 2008, 20:23 GMT
Sunken WWII ship found in fjord
HMS Albion taking part in the training exercise off the coast of Norway. Picture: Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is taking part in a training exercise off Norway's coast. Picture: Royal Navy
The wreck of a Royal Navy destroyer has been found in a Norwegian fjord, 68 years after she sank during battle.

HMS Hunter has remained undisturbed since April 1940 when she sank, killing 110 people during the Battle of Narvik.

It was found 305m (1,000ft) under water by a Norwegian mine control vessel on a multinational training exercise.

The site will be marked as a war grave on Saturday. Major General Garry Robison said finding HMS Hunter had been a "poignant moment".

HMS Hunter was one of two Allied destroyers lost during the first Battle of Narvik - the Germans lost four destroyers.

'Long lost'

The 1,880 tonne H-Class Destroyer had a crew of 145 - 110 of whom were killed when she was sunk at 0530 GMT on 10 April 1940.

There have been several attempts to find her over the years, but it was the Norwegian mine hunter Hnoms Tyr, while on an exercise with the Royal Navy, Royal Norwegian Navy and Royal Netherlands Navy which discovered her.

Being able to pay our respects along with our Norwegian and Dutch allies is particularly fitting to those who lost their lives
Maj Gen Garry Robison
Commander, UK amphibious force

In a statement, the Ministry of Defence said HMS Hunter was discovered using an "echo sounder".

"It became clear that this was the long-lost HMS Hunter, lying as she was when she had finally succumbed to the unforgiving waters after bravely fighting during the Battle of Narvik," it said.

Ships from the Royal Navy, the Netherlands Maritime Force and the Norwegian Navy, will lay wreaths over the spot in a commemorative service on Saturday.

Poignant moment

Ships will sail in "formed line" past the site, which will now be marked as a war grave.

Maj Gen Robison, the commander of the UK's amphibious force, said: "Finding HMS Hunter was a poignant moment and being able to pay our respects along with our Norwegian and Dutch allies is particularly fitting to those who lost their lives."

Norwegian defence spokesman Colonel John Ogland said: "Being able to host this large multinational exercise is great for us but to find HMS Hunter whilst doing so makes it very special indeed.

"We remain close allies and are eternally grateful to those who helped preserve our freedom."

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